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Maria Isabel of Portugal

Maria Isabel of Portugal

Queen consort of Spain
The basics
Gender female
Birth May 19, 1797 (Lisbon, Lisbon District, Portugal)
Death December 26, 1818 (Madrid, Community of Madrid, Spain)
Mother: Carlota Joaquina of Spain
Father: John VI of Portugal
Siblings: Miguel I of PortugalFrancisco AntónioPrince of BeiraPedro IInfanta Maria da Assunção of PortugalInfanta Maria Francisca of PortugalInfanta Isabel Maria of PortugalInfanta Ana de Jesus Maria of PortugalMaria TeresaPrincess of Beira
Spouse: Ferdinand VII of Spain
Authority Library of congress id VIAF id
The details

Maria Isabel of Portugal (Maria Isabel Francisca; 19 May 1797 – 26 December 1818) was an Infanta of Portugal who became the Queen of Spain as the second wife of Ferdinand VII of Spain.


Isabel depicted in front of Prado, 1829, by Bernardo López y Pique

Maria Isabel was an Infanta of Portugal and daughter of John VI of Portugal and his wife Carlota Joaquina of Spain. She was a sister of Pedro I of Brazil.

She married her maternal uncle King Ferdinand VII of Spain on 29 September 1816, whose first wife, Princess Maria Antonia of Naples and Sicily, had died childless ten years before.

Maria Isabel was again pregnant soon after the birth of her firstborn, but the birth was a difficult one. The baby was in breech and the physicians soon found that the child had died. Maria Isabel stopped breathing soon thereafter and the doctors thought she was dead; when they started cutting her up to extract the dead fetus, she suddenly shouted in pain and collapsed on her bed, bleeding heavily.

She died on 26 December 1818 in the Palace of Aranjuez while giving birth to a large, stillborn daughter and was buried at the Escorial, having failed to provide her husband with an heir to the throne.


It is due to Queen Maria Isabel's dedication and affection for the art world that she managed to gather many treasures from the past and create a royal museum, which would end up being the beginnings of Museo del Prado. It opened on 19 November 1819, a year after the Queen's death.


  • Infanta María Luisa Isabel of Spain (21 August 1817 – 9 January 1818)
  • Infanta María Luisa Isabel of Spain (26 December 1818), stillborn.

Honours and arms

Coat of arms of Maria Isabel of Portugal, Queen of Spain.
  • Dame of the Order of Queen Maria Luisa
  • Dame of the Order of Saint Isabel


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